ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Bava Metzia 12
BAVA METZIA 11-17 - This study material has been produced with the help of
the Israeli ministry of religious affairs.
(a) If Levy, after declaring a purse Hefker (to whoever acquired it first -
see Tosfos DH 've'Yatza'), lobbed it into Reuven's house, and Shimon caught
it before it landed - the purse will belong to Reuven (because of the
principle 'Avir she'Sofe la'Nu'ach, ke'Munach Dami' [when something enters
Reuven's air-space, and is going to land in his property, it becomes his the
moment it enters his air-space].
(b) Rava asked what the Din will be if Levi threw the purse with force
through one doorway of Reuven's house, and it passed through the opposite
doorway and fell into the street. This case might be different than the
previous one - because, seeing as the purse was not destined to land in
Reuven's property, his Chatzer might not acquire it.
(c) One of Rava's Talmidim asked him why he did not resolve this She'eilah
from Rebbi Aba bar Kahana, who rules that in the case of Matanah, if a deer
is running through Reuven's field, he will acquire it despite the fact that
it is running too fast for him to catch. To which Rava replied - that this
in only because the animal's feet are on the ground, whereas the purse is
flying through the air.
(a) The Tana states that a Metzi'ah that one's young child, Eved or Shifchah
or wife finds - belongs to him.
(b) The source for this as regards one's ...
1. ... young daughter is - 'Kol Sh'vach Ne'urim le'Avihah', the principle
which teaches us that a father has jurisdiction over his daughter whether
she is a Ketanah or a Na'arah..
(c) The Metzi'ah of one's Eved Ivri and Amah Ivriyah, says the Tana, belong
to the finder - and so does the Metzi'ah of one's divorced wife, even if she
has not yet received her Kesuvah.
2. ... Eved or Shifchah is - the Pasuk in Behar "ve'Hisnachaltem Osam",
which teaches us that one even acquires the body of an Eved, how much more
so, his money.
3. ... wife - a Takanas Chachamim because of Eivah (to avoid marital
(a) The reason Shmuel gives for the Takanas Chachamim that whatever a son
finds belongs to his father is - because he tends to hand over whatever he
finds to him anyway.
(b) We extrapolate from Shmuel - that, by Torah law, a Katan does not
acquire what he finds. Otherwise, why would Chazal have issued such a
(c) We query this however from a Beraisa. The Tana Kama there rules that if
someone hires ...
1. ... a poor man to work in his field - the worker's son is permitted to
walk behind his father and collect Leket.
(d) Rebbi Yossi - permits the son to collect Leket either way.
2. ... a part owner of the crops (who is considered a rich man) to do the
work - he is not.
(a) Shmuel rules there like Rebbi Yossi. Considering that he just ruled that
a Katan does not acquire min ha'Torah, how can he permit the son of a
wealthy man to collect Leket, seeing as whatever the Katan now picks up, he
picks up on behalf of his father? There would no problem if the Katan was
Koneh min ha'Torah, because *he* is considered an Ani.
(b) We reconcile Shmuel's two rulings - by establishing his first ruling
like the Tana Kama, even though he personally holds like Rebbi Yossi.
(c) The Tana Kama in the Mishnah in Shevu'os holds that what a Katan finds
is subject to theft because of Darkei Shalom. Rebbi Yossi says - 'Gezel
(d) If, as Rav Chisda explains, Rebbi Yossi means 'Gezel Gamur
mi'Divreihem', the difference between the Tana Kama and Rebbi Yossi is -
that according to Rebbi Yossi, were someone to take the Metzi'ah from the
Katan, Beis-Din would obligate him to return it (as if it was real Gezel),
whereas according to the Tana Kama, they would not.
(a) Based on Rav Chisda's interpretation of Rebbi Yossi (with which we
assume, Shmuel concurs), we have now proved from Shmuel's ruling (like Rebbi
Yossi in the Beraisa) - that even concedes that a Katan does not acquire a
Metzi'ah min ha'Torah, contradicting his previous ruling.
Rava (who agrees that a Katan cannot acquire an article from Hefker)
explains Rebbi Yossi's concession - to be a Takanas Chachamim, which the
rest of the poor will be only too pleased to accept, so that when they hire
themselves out as laborers, their sons will be permitted to collect after
(b) So Abaye compares the case of Rebbi Yossi in the Beraisa to a field
through which Nemushos have already passed. 'Nemushos' are - the last lot of
collectors who have come from far away to collect Leket. Once they have
passed through the field, everyone is permitted to take the remaining Leket,
due to the rest of the poor having despaired of finding any more Leket in
(c) What Abaye means is - that, just as the poor despair of finding anything
once the Nemushos have passed, so too, do they despair of finding anything
when they see the workers children tagging behind them collecting Leket.
(d) Rav Ada bar Masna objects to this explanation however - on the grounds
that to encourage the poor to give up hope by permitting the children to
collect Leket behind their father is like placing a lion outside one's field
to prevent the poor from entering the field (which is most definitely
(a) Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Yochanan argues with Shmuel. He interprets
'Katan' and 'Gadol' in our Mishnah - to mean a child who eats at his
father's table and one who does not (irrespective of age), respectively.
(b) According to him ...
1. ... a Katan who does not eat at his father's table is permitted to keep
the Metzi'os that he finds - because a child acquires a Metzi'ah min
2. ... even a Gadol who eats at his father's table is obligated to hand
whatever he finds to his father - to avoid Eivah (the quarrels of his
father, who will argue that seeing as he feeds his son, it is only proper
that his son hands him whatever he finds.
(a) The Tana of the Beraisa says that if a worker who is employed to do
whatever work his employer asks of him, picks up a Metzi'ah - he must hand
it to his employer.
(b) To reconcile our Mishnah with the Beraisa, Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar
Rebbi Yochanan establish our Mishnah - by an Eved Ivri who specializes in
diamond-boring, which is far more lucrative than picking up Metzi'os.
Consequently, in the event that he does find a Metzi'ah, he may keep it, but
he must compensate his master for the work-loss.
(c) Rava establishes the case when the Eved Ivri picked up the Metzi'ah in
the course of his work - thereby causing his master no loss at all, in which
case, he may keep it.
(d) To reconcile the Beraisa with our Mishnah, Rav Papa establishes it -
when his master hired him specifically to find Metzi'os, such as draining
the river to find any fish that remain on the dry river-bed. Otherwise, he
is entitled to keep whatever he finds, like the ruling of our Mishnah (and
he remains obligated to compensate his master for the work-loss).
(a) We also learned in our Mishnah that an Amah Ivriyah may also keep what
she finds. The Tana cannot be referring to an Amah who is a Gedolah -
because then, what is she doing still working for her master? She ought to
have gone free when she turned twelve.
(b) If on the other hand, she is a Ketanah, what she finds goes to her
father (who must compensate the master for any work-loss). Consequently,
when the Tana of our Mishnah permits her to keep her Metzi'os - he must be
speaking when she is a Ketanah whose father died after having sold her.
(c) Resh Lakish did indeed learn from a 'Kal va'Chomer' that an Amah Ivri'ah
goes free with the death of her father . However - his 'Kal va'Chomer is
disproved (in Kidushin).
(d) Our Mishnah, which permits her to keep what she finds (and does not
mention anything about her Metzi'os going to her father) is not a further
disproof of Resh Lakish's ruling - because what the Tana may be coming to
teach us that what she finds does not go to her master, but not necessarily
that she must not hand them to her father.
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah also rules that what a divorced woman finds
belongs to her. As this stands, it is obvious. So we establish it in a case
of Safek Gerushin (e.g. where her husband threw her a Get in the street and
it is not sure whether the Get landed closer to her husband or to her), in
which case her husband must give her another Get.
(b) And the Chidush is based on a statement by Rebbi Zeira Amar Shmuel - who
rules that her husband is obligated to continue to feed her.
(c) Nevertheless, the woman does not have to hand what she finds to her
husband in exchange for her Mezonos (like she did when she was definitely
married) - because the reason there was to avoid 'Eivah', a S'vara that does
not apply to a Safek Megureshes, where we want to encourage Eivah, so as to
force her husband to give her the Get.
(a) If someone finds a Sh'tar Chov which does *not contain Acharayus
Nechasim* - Rebbi Meir in our Mishnah permits the finder to return it, but
not if it *does*.
(b) The Chachamim - forbid its return either way?
(c) The basis of their Machlokes is - whether Beis-Din will claim from a
Sh'tar which does not contain Acharayus or not (this will be explained later
in the Sugya.
(a) We would have thought that if the debtor ...
1. ... admits that the found Sh'tar with Acharayus is valid - the finder
would have to return it (and why not)?
(b) Our Mishnah speaks - in the former case, where the debtor admits that
the Sh'tar is valid and that he owes the money. Nevertheless, both Tana'im
agree that a Sh'tar with Acharayus may not be returned to the creditor,
because we are afraid that the Sh'tar was pre-dated, and that consequently,
the creditor will claim from whoever purchased fields from the debtor
between the date on the Sh'tar and that of the actual loan.
2. ... denies that the found Sh'tar without Acharayus is forged - that it
ought not to be returned (which is indeed the case).
(c) We do not suspect every Sh'tar that comes before Beis-Din of being a
Sh'tar Mukdam (post-dated) - only here, because a Sh'tar that is lost is
considered flawed (and carries with it a sort of stigma, rendering it a
(d) The Mishnah in Bava Basra permits the debtor to write a Sh'tar Chov even
without the lender being present - but only a Sh'tar Hakna'ah, Rav Asi
explains, where the debtor specifically declares all his property Meshubad
to the creditor as from today, irrespective of whether the loan takes place
or not (though he will only hand him the Sh'tar in the event that it does).